Well I’m kind of getting into the blogging thing a little late to cover the trade for Matt Holliday, but I figured I would throw in my two cents on the whole thing. Although many people see this as a terrible trade, I see it as an opportunity. Oakland has been known around the league for many years as the team with great pitching, but terrible offense (emphasis on the terrible). By adding a bat like Matt Holliday to the offense, the team as a whole gets an instant boost. I’m now going to break the trade down player by player on my opinion as to why each of them are expendable to the franchise. Feel free to offer your feedback because I would love to hear it.
Matt Holliday- There isn’t much to say about him coming to Oakland besides THANK YOU! The Oakland offense was near the bottom in every offensive category last year. By adding a player with so much proven offensive talent, you automatically help with this. The Oakland on-base percentage, which Beane covets while evaluating players, was a dismal .318 last year, .001 off from dead last. Holliday had a .409 OBP last year, ranking 4th in the National League of players that played at least 100 games. Oakland really could use the offense, and Holliday can really supply it.
Carlos Gonzalez- Every organization in baseball hates to give up young talent, and this case is no different than any other. Carlos Gonzalez is going to be a stud someday, and he may not be that far off. By trading away Gonzalez, it obviously clears up a spot for Holliday to fall right into the scheme. I couldn’t agree with Billy Beane anymore when he says “Obviously, we thought very highly of Carlos, and we still do, but we also had some redundancy there.” If you notice the Oakland farm system nowadays, there are players at pretty much every position that are within striking distance of fighting for a job in the majors. With every draft and trade made my Beane in the past few years, he has been adding more and more young talent to an already stellar farm system. Now it seems as though Beane is going to attempt to move away from this because it is obvious that they have an overabundant supply of quality outfielders.
Huston Street- With the emergence of Brad Ziegler as a great relief option last year, it’s hard to look at Huston Street and not imagine that he isn’t replaceable. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like Street as a relief pitcher, but I do think that it is time for a new closer. Ziegler is a great pitcher to call out of the bullpen, but the player that most of us are looking forward to see is Joey Devine. Brought over in the Kotsay trade, Devine was simply amazing last year in the appearances that he made. In 42 appearances last year, he was 6-1 with a 0.59 ERA. On paper, it doesn’t get much better than that. The best part is, he is only going to be 25 when next season starts. Again, with the redundancy, Street was replaceable.
Greg Smith- In my mind, this is the player that Oakland is going to miss most next year. Although he only had a mediocre year at best last year, I believe that Smith will be a solid starter on a team with a good offense. With many questions about Oakland’s rotation this next year, the loss of Smith only adds another hole to the unknown rotation. Many would argue that this will be filled in with a pitcher that will be good enough, but I think that Smith was one of the best starters in Oakland last year. Then again, Haren seemed to be a good replacement for Mulder and Hudson’s absences.
Again, I encourage anybody to respond to this because I would love some feedback so I know that this isn’t a complete waste of time. Until next time…
In Beane We Trust